The Ghana card is set to be recognized as an electronic passport in 197 countries by 2022, the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has disclosed.
Delivering a public lecture on the digital economy at Ashesi University on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, the Vice President said this will make travelling for Ghanaians in the diaspora more convenient.
“The Ghana card will be recognized as an e-passport and can be read and verified in all [International Civil Aviation Organization] ICAO compliant borders (in 197 countries and 44,000 airports in the world). When this happens, holders of the Ghana card will be allowed to board any flight to Ghana.”
“Furthermore, the good news for diasporan Ghanaians is that when the Ghana Immigration Service is linked to the NIA architecture, diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghana card should not have to obtain visas to travel to Ghana.”
Spelling out other benefits of the Ghana card, the Vice President said Ghanaian missions and other embassies abroad will be able to establish the identity of Ghanaians using the Ghana card.
Dr Bawumia said the government has been working with the International Civil Aviation Organization to globally activate the e-passport function of the Ghana card.
“We expect this to be operational by the end of the first quarter of next year. Ghana is one of the few countries in the world where the national ID card is also an e-passport,” he said.
Ghana card registration has been a subject of debate in the country in recent times, following a directive from the Ministry of Communication that only the Ghana card will be used as proof of identity for SIM card re-registration.
The Controller and Accountant General’s Department also tried to get government workers to register for the Ghana Card or be denied their salaries.
This directive was later rescinded after some protests from government workers and criticism from observers.
Currently, Ghana card numbers are being used as tax identification numbers by the government.
Over 15 million Ghanaians have been registered for their Ghana Card, representing about 84% of the population aged 15 and above.